But now comes yet another cause du’jour that is both ludicrous and deathly dangerous all at the same time. From the editorial pages of the Washington Post and the New York Times has come the clarion call for an entire new Department of Government: a Department of Culture.
Now, seeing what has happened to education since the creation of the Department of Education, or the state of Housing under the guidance of that august agency, I can understand those who are a bit nervous about a Department of Culture. And well they should be nervous, if not in a downright state of panic.
Bill, I think you need to relax.
I'll admit that governmental goofiness in the public schools is creating a plethora of private academies and an exodus to the suburbs.
Government housing boondoggles have long been a corrupt landlord honeypot.
V.A. Hospitals are the warm-up act for the medical care we'll get if [the President-elect] is true to his word on socialized medicine.
Cabrini-Green is a Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) public housing development on Chicago's North Side.... At its height, Cabrini-Green was home to 15,000 people, living in mid- and high-rise apartment buildings. Over the years, gang violence and neglect created terrible conditions for the residents, and the name "Cabrini-Green" became synonymous with the problems associated with public housing in the United States.
You might remember some controversy about this sculpture. FDR went to great lengths to conceal his partial paralysis from the public (only two photos of him in his wheelchair are known to exist). But various special interest groups lobbied for the wheelchair to be included in any and all sculptures of FDR. Like it or dislike it, the result would horrify FDR.
But as Mr. Clinton noted today, 16 of Roosevelt's grandchildren have now called for a more vivid depiction of his disability, as have former Presidents George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald R. Ford.
Hence the cape around the (assumed) wheelchair on this particular statue at the memorial. Art by compromise. You gotta love it.
So if my Department is going to advocate "vivid depictions of disabilities", I want to have another statue in the rotunda of the D.O.C. to vividly depict the disabilities endured by Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford.
After leaving the rotunda, visitors and employees will encounter the "Piss Christ" fountain, based on the government-rewarded artwork by American photographer Andres Serrano, which depicts a small plastic Christ On The Cross submerged in a glass of Serrano's urine. Serrano got $15,000.00 from the National Endowment for the Arts as a reward for producing this photo. The Piss Christ Fountain will be immediately behind the D.O.C. rotunda, eliminating the need for restrooms in that area, but slightly increasing the space required for the mop closet.
Look below. Very closely. Lighght is there. This is a signed and numbered silkscreened print of the lighght poem that you can purchase through The Paris Review. They don't list the price - they only give an email address to which you can send enquiries. It's available in a limited edition of 150.
Every office will have a flatscreen TV playing Ken Burns' series on The Civil War, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is an homage to the importance of Ken Burns' documentaries in obtaining funding for the National Endowment For The Humanities every year at renewal time. Without Ken Burns, the NEH would have very little except a motley band of performance artists who sing the ingredients of cereal boxes while shaving a gong with an electric razor. (I don't know if the performance artist shown below gets any NEA or NEH funding for his art, but when I open the Department Of Culture to the general public, this guy's going to play a role in the opening ceremony. I hope he uses a gong.)
Of course, no government ripoff can ever be fully funded without saccharine pleas that the boondoggle/bailout/subsidy/giveaway under discussion is "for the children". I'll have a large Children's Art Center near the exit of the Department Of Culture, fully equipped with modeling clay, fingerpaint, brushes, canvas, poster board, easels, drum sets, fighter pilot helmets, and toilets. After a long day spent touring the D.O.C., the little kiddos can create their own piece of American Culture !
The kids will have to pay a small fee to participate. They'll have to pay another fee to have their art considered in the Best Of The D.O.C. competition. And to have a shot at winning, they'll voluntarily make an additional contribution to each judge's re-appointment campaign. Therefore, I'm going to name the children's area The Rod Blagojevich "Pay To Play" Pavillion.
All guests and employees will leave The Department Of Culture through the base of a giant mural called "The Robert Mapplethorpe Exit".